Frequently Asked Questions

Resolving default

How do I know if my federal student loan(s) is in default?

You might have received a Notice of Default. Perhaps your federal tax refund was seized, or wages were withheld from your paycheck—any of these actions toward you indicate that your loan(s) is in default. Your loan holder(s) can tell you the status of your loans and help you understand your options if you are in default.

If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

I was told my loan(s) is in default, but I think it's a mistake. What should I do?

If you believe your student loan(s) is not in default, contact your loan holder(s). You may be required to provide documentation or evidence of the discrepancy. This could include school... Read more >

If you believe your student loan(s) is not in default, contact your loan holder(s). You may be required to provide documentation or evidence of the discrepancy. This could include school records showing your enrollment status, a copy of an authorized deferment or forbearance, or front and back copies of loan payment checks that have been canceled and you believe were not applied to your loan balance.

If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

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Why were wages withheld from my paycheck?

Administrative wage garnishment—funds deducted from your paycheck without your consent—is permitted by law if you default on your federal student loan(s). If you do not make... Read more >

Administrative wage garnishment—funds deducted from your paycheck without your consent—is permitted by law if you default on your federal student loan(s). If you do not make voluntary payments on your defaulted federal student loan(s), the administrative wage garnishment process may be initiated. Prior to the wage withholding becoming affective, you should have received a letter—Notice Prior to Wage Withholding—describing the process.

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Are there any additional costs to my loan(s) after it defaults?

Yes. Unpaid interest that accrued on your loan(s) prior to the default is capitalized (added to the principal balance of the loans), creating a situation in which you are charged interest... Read more >

Yes. Unpaid interest that accrued on your loan(s) prior to the default is capitalized (added to the principal balance of the loans), creating a situation in which you are charged interest on a higher principal balance. Also, as required by federal regulations, collection costs are added to your defaulted loan balance 60 days after default. Collection costs may include attorney fees, collection agency charges and court costs.

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Why is a collection agency calling me about my defaulted loan(s)?

You are being contacted by a collection agency because you have not made satisfactory arrangements to repay your defaulted student loan(s). Being contacted by a collection agency is one of... Read more >

You are being contacted by a collection agency because you have not made satisfactory arrangements to repay your defaulted student loan(s). Being contacted by a collection agency is one of the consequences of default.

Contact the collection agency or your loan holder(s) to discuss your options.

If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

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Why was my tax refund and/or Social Security payment seized? Can I get it back?

If you default on your student loan(s) and do not make arrangements to pay it back, federal regulations require that any government payments for which you are eligible be seized and applied... Read more >

If you default on your student loan(s) and do not make arrangements to pay it back, federal regulations require that any government payments for which you are eligible be seized and applied to your loan debt. This is commonly called offset or tax offset, but it could also be called IRS offset or Treasury offset.

You may apply for a refund or return of these funds if the offset:

  • Was done in error
  • Is causing you extreme financial hardship
  • Occurred while you were in bankruptcy

Contact your loan holder(s) to discuss your situation. If ECMC holds your loan(s), follow the links below for more information if you are:

If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

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I want to go back to school, but my loan(s) is in default. Can I get Title VI federal financial aid?

When you defaulted on your student loan(s), you lost your eligibility for additional Title IV federal financial aid. Therefore, you must resolve your defaulted student loan(s) with your loan... Read more >

If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

Once you have resolved your default status with your loan holder(s), your school may request additional documentation from your loan holder(s) commonly referred to as a Title IV eligibility letter or clearance letter. If ECMC holds your loan(s), you can request a Title IV eligibility letter by following this link or contacting an ECMC representative at 1-855-810-4920.

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Will my defaulted federal student loan(s) be reported?

Loan holders are required to report federal student loan defaults to national consumer reporting agencies. A default on your credit history may remain for up to seven years.

Can I get federal tax credit for paying tuition or interest on my federal student loan(s)?

You may be able to take advantage of a number of federal tax benefits, including credits, deductions and savings incentives to offset your costs for college or career training. For more... Read more >

You may be able to take advantage of a number of federal tax benefits, including credits, deductions and savings incentives to offset your costs for college or career training. For more information on these and other tax benefits, view our Possible Federal Tax Benefits at a Glance and consult a professional tax advisor.

Also, you will find details on all the tax benefits at the Internal Revenue Service website www.irs.gov.

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What is a credit bureau?

A credit bureau is a national consumer reporting agency. It is any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the... Read more >

A credit bureau is a national consumer reporting agency. It is any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses and means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports. 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(f).

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What is a credit report?

A credit bureau report is a consumer report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It is any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing... Read more >

A credit bureau report is a consumer report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It is any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for:

  • Credit or insurance to be used primarily for persona, family, or household purposes;
  • Employment purposes; or
  • Any other purpose authorized under section 1681b of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(d).

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I was turned down for a loan because of student loan default. How can I fix this?

You need to contact your loan holder(s) to determine if there are options to resolve the default. The status of other items on your consumer report may have contributed to the decision... Read more >

You need to contact your loan holder(s) to determine if there are options to resolve the default. The status of other items on your consumer report may have contributed to the decision. Obtain a free copy of your consumer report at www.annualcreditreport.com

p>If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

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How do I correct mistakes on my consumer report?

You can dispute any entry on a consumer report by filing a dispute with the national consumer reporting agencies... Read more >

You can dispute any entry on a consumer report by filing a dispute with the national consumer reporting agencies.

You may also dispute the item directly through the company that provided the information to the national consumer reporting agencies.

If ECMC holds your loan(s), contact us. If you don't know who holds your loan(s), go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the central database for all federal student loan information.

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